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  • Writer's pictureC.M.Knopf

Apocalypse Then and Now

| Post-Americana and the post-election. |

On November 9, 2020, Bleeding Cool announced that,

The new Image Comics series Post Americana #1 by Steve Skroce and Dave Stewart was listed for Final Order Cut-Off this weekend. But Image Comics has now informed retailers that they will have one more week to up their orders. Why might they want to do that? Well, [. . .] it appears that there will be more news, that might up those sales a tad, coming later in the week.

The news to which Bleeding Cool was referring was the results of the 2020 presidential election. It seemed that Image Comics was counting on election hype and post-election drama to help sell a comic about an American presidency run amuck.

The Cheyanne mountain installation, aka The BUBBLE, is the most sophisticated super bunker in the world. It was built to ensure the survival of America's executive branch of government and its most important citizens, should the unthinkable happen. When the world ended, the executive branch failed to reach the sanctuary, but the elite citizenry did. Eighty years later, one of their own has named himself the new President of the United States. His plan? Subjugate the survivors of the American Wasteland using the same bunker resources meant to rebuild it. The only thing standing in their way is a deadly Wasteland girl, hellbent on revenge! (via IMAGE)

When Image Comics first teased the new series in September 2020 - two months before the election - they did so with excerpts that looked like scenes from the post-apocalyptic Mad Max franchise.

This seems an apt sales pitch in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that had already sparked a number of Mad Max-inspired memes.

But then, when post-election release date came and the results of the election were still unclear (which sparked a whole new round of meme-ing), Image had the chance to capitalize on both the ongoing pandemic and the election controversy.

As is discussed in the post-script to Politics in the Gutters, speculative fiction - such as apocalyptic literature - often seems prescient because it is, effectively, commenting on current events. For even more on how speculative fiction can also act as an early warning system for political, social, economic, and cultural crises, see Cynthia Boaz's "How Speculative Fiction Can Teach about Gender and Power in International Politics: A Pedagogical Overview" in International Studies Perspectives, Volume 21, Issue 3, August 2020, pages 240–257.

~Christina M. Knopf

21 November 2020


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